Business Writing Basics

Overview

Effective writing makes a positive impression on clients, colleagues, and employers. While a poorly written document can embarrass an organization, a professionally penned document will enhance the image of both the company and the writer. This new and updated edition includes new information on writing business cases, PowerPoint presentations, and professional emails. Business Writing Basics includes 25 samples of both well-written and poorly written letters that readers can use as examples, and more than 200 ...
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Overview

Effective writing makes a positive impression on clients, colleagues, and employers. While a poorly written document can embarrass an organization, a professionally penned document will enhance the image of both the company and the writer. This new and updated edition includes new information on writing business cases, PowerPoint presentations, and professional emails. Business Writing Basics includes 25 samples of both well-written and poorly written letters that readers can use as examples, and more than 200 useful tips that will enhance anyone's writing skills. Learn how you can:

Adopt a "you" attitude when writing for the web

Plan and write business cases and reports

Plan and write reports

Replace clichés and other antiquated phrases

Use verbs that create powerful messages

Avoid writer’s block

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551807690
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: Self-Counsel Business Series
  • Edition description: 3rd Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 557,995
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Watson is a trainer, consultant, and author in the field of business communications. She has provided personalized coaching to senior executives on business writing, and for more than 15 years she has conducted workshops for both the private and public sectors. Watson has published more than 200 articles on communications and has been interviewed on both radio and TV.

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Table of Contents

PREFACE xiii
1 BUSINESS WRITING — THERE HAVE BEEN
SOME CHANGES 1
Reader Focus 2
Clear, Concise Writing 2
Grammar and Spelling 3
Organization 3
Tone 4
Visual Appeal 4
In Summary 5
2 13 WAYS TO MIND YOUR READER’S BUSINESS
AND PUT YOUR OWN ON THE BACK BURNER 6
3 38 PRACTICAL WRITING TIPS YOU NEVER
LEARNED IN SCHOOL 12
The Reader 13
Word Choice 13
Sentences 21
Paragraphs 25
Appearance 26
4 WAYS TO ADD PERSONALITY TO YOUR
WRITING AND WIN FRIENDS 34
Different Kinds of Tone 35
Starting to Write 38
Being Courteous 39
Selling Your Message 42
5 42 WAYS TO MASTER LETTERS AND MAKE
YOURSELF LOOK PROFESSIONAL ON PAPER 49
Organization 50
Writing 54
Format 58
6 42 WAYS TO WRITE EMAILS THAT WILL
INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING
READER BUY-IN 83
Format 85
Email Etiquette 91
Surviving Your Reader’s Inbox 93
Subject Lines 94
Opening Lines 95
7 20 TIPS FOR WRITING SHORT REPORTS AND
MEMOS THAT GET READ AND ACTED UPON 102
Organization 103
Writing 105
Window Dressing 111
8 37 WAYS TO TAKE THE STRESS AND
DRUDGERY OUT OF REPORT WRITING
AND MAKE YOUR REPORTS READABLE 116
Step 1 — Analysis 118
Step 2 — Gathering the Details 119
Step 3 — Organizing the Information 120
Short reports 120
viii BUSINESS WRITING BASICS
Formal reports 120
Graphics 126
Getting ready to write 128
Step 4 — Writing 132
Step 5 — Resting 135
Step 6 — Editing 135
9 25 TIPS FOR BUILDING A BUSINESS CASE
THAT INFLUENCES DECISION MAKERS 137
The Reader 138
The Template 139
Executive Summary 139
Current State Analysis 140
Solutions/Alternatives 140
Cost and Benefit Analysis 141
Risk Management 144
Implementation 144
Conclusions and Recommendation 146
Final Thoughts 146
10 16 THOUGHTS ON DESIGNING
POWERPOINT SLIDES 151
11 29 WAYS TO WRITE FOR THE
WORLD WIDE WEB 156
12 44 SUGGESTIONS TO WRITE FASTER,
AVOID WRITER’S BLOCK, COACH OTHER
WRITERS, AND BECOME AN EFFECTIVE
GHOSTWRITER 163
Writing Faster 163
Avoiding Writer’s Block 167
Helping Others Improve Their Writing 168
Being a Ghostwriter 169
CONTENTS ix
SAMPLES
1 Hard-to-Read Letter 27
2 Easier-to-Read Letter 28
3 Format for Information Letter 52
4 Format for Bad-News Letter 53
5 Format for Persuasion Letter 55
6 Information Letter (Reader name unknown) 62
7 Information Letter (Block style) 70
8 Information Letter (Modified block style) 71
9 Information Letter with a List
(Modified semi-block style) 72
10 Bad-News Letter (Block style) 74
11 Bad-News Letter (Modified block style) 76
12 Bad-News Letter (Modified semi-block style) 77
13 Persuasion Letter (Block style) 78
14 Persuasion Letter (Modified block style) 79
15 Persuasion Letter (Modified semi-block style) 81
16 Poor Email 87
17 Revised Email 87
18 Examples of Disclaimers 90
19 An Email Written in Letter Style (Poor) 96
20 Message Rewritten in Email Format 97
21 Poor Email 99
22 Message Reorganized for Email Delivery 100
23 Format for Information Short Report 106
24 Format for Problem-Solving Short Report 107
25 Format for Persuasion Short Report 108
26 Format for Internal Proposal Memo 109
27 Information Memo with Distribution List 113
28 Letter of Transmittal 122
29 Report Title Page 123
30 Executive Summary 124
31 Time Sheet 131
x BUSINESS WRITING BASICS
32 Short Solution/Alternatives Section 142
33 Risk Section for a Business Case on Purchasing
New Software 145
34 Implementation Section for a Business Case 147
35 Conclusions and Recommendation 148
WORKSHEETS
1 Planning Tool for Reader Analysis 11
2 Planning Tool for Letters 50
3 Planning Tool for Short Reports 104
4 Storyboard Planning Tool for Reports 129
5 Time Sheet 130
TABLES
1 Easier-to-Read Words 14
2 Connecting Words and Phrases 17
3 Clichés to Avoid 18
4 Tone 36
5 Formats for Writing Letters 51
6 Opening Lines 56
7 Closing Lines 59
8 Formats for Writing Short Reports 105
9 Methods of Organizing Information Reports 127
10 Organization for Comparative Reports 134
11 Numbering Systems for Reports 135
CHECKLISTS
1 Business Writing Style 32
2 Appropriate Tone 48
3 Letters 69
4 Emails 101
5 Short Reports and Memos 115
6 Editing Reports 136
7 Business Cases 150
8 PowerPoint Slides 155
9 Websites 162
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